LGBTQ and Partner Violence


“Abusive partners in LGBTQ relationships use all the same tactics to gain power and control as abusive partners in heterosexual relationships — physical, sexual or emotional abuse, financial control, isolation and more. But abusive partners in LGBTQ relationships also reinforce their tactics that maintain power and control with societal factors that compound the complexity a survivor faces in leaving or getting safe in an LGBTQ relationship.”


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people who identify as gay, lesbian, and bisexual experience domestic violence at rates equal to or greater than the general population and initial research shows that up to 50% of people who identify as transgender experience domestic violence over their lifetime.

In addition to the tactics utilized by perpetrators in all abusive relationships (link to resources/what is IPV), abusers in LGBTQ relationships may use additional behavior specific to the survivor’s LGBTQ identity, such as:

  • Pressuring to out the survivor as GLBTQ to friends, family, work, and other support systems
  • Using LGBTQ stereotypes to gain and maintain power and control
  • Withholding access to hormones or medication/doctor’s appointments
  • Isolating a survivor from LGBTQ communities
  • Telling a survivor that nobody will help them because they are LGBTQ

Source: GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project


Partner abuse is a systematic pattern of behaviors where one person non-consensually uses power to try to control the thoughts, beliefs, actions, body, and/or spirit of a partner.*

*By “partner,” we are referring to a range of intimate relationships including but not limited to play partner; date; primary, secondary, or other non-monogamous partner; spouse; sexual partner; boyfriend/girlfriend; boo; hookup; life partner; lover.

Partner abuse is also called domestic violence, battering, domestic violence, and/or dating abuse.

Partner abuse happens in all communities. It crosses all social, ethnic, racial, age, and economic lines. Size, strength, age, politics, gender presentation and expression, or personality does not determine whether someone can be abused or an abuser. Abuse is not more or less common in LGBTQ relationships.

Source: The Network/La Red


Wherever you are at in your relationship or your life, you deserve a healthy and safe relationship and community. All too often, LGBTQ folks are invisible victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence. In addition to the sexual and domestic violence that occurs within relationships, the LGBTQ community is often the target of violence by others because of their sexual and gender identity.

You are not alone – we hear you, we see you, and we want to help.

Things You Should Know:

  • Abuse is never mutual
  • Abuse is not the same as consensual sexual behavior, including BDSM

Sexual and domestic violence programs are available to victims of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Source: Jane Doe Inc.